Letters to the past, tale from a tiny town, some science in new books

Embark on a fictional journey of a widow who reads fragments of her dead husband’s unfinished book that goes deep into issues of equality, love, caste and religion; Then, there’s a tiny town that tells vibrant stories of its residents.

On to a fast-paced tale of a brilliant young man’s meteoric rise in business followed by treachery, infidelity and murder; and finally, a book that explores the immune system and what keeps it running. There’s much the IANS bookshelf has for you this weekend. Happy reading!preface

1. Book: A Preface to Man; Author: Subhash Chandran, translated by Fathima E.V; Publisher: Harper Perennial; Pages: 469; Price: Rs.499

While pondering over her dead husband Jithendran’s love letters written in the background of social and political events, Ann Marie discovers a narrative that gives way to the sweeping saga of a village by the river Periyar.

The sprawling story, told through the history of three generations of a feudal Nair family, is an artistic meditation of human existence and a contemporary classic.

2. Book: Savithri’s Special Room and Other Stories; Author: Manu Bhattathiri; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 206; Price: Rs.399

Karuthupuzha, named after a black river, is a little sleepy town located in the interiors of south India. And the town is the address for people belonging to multiple backgrounds like an accountant wanting to become philanthropist, a godman with strange fetish and Savithri – a kind-hearted grandmother filling her secret room with delicacies.savithri

However, as the pages unfold, there comes a new surprise. Told in a fresh new voice that is wry yet humane, the stories are full of life’s little ironies and delicate wisdom.

3. Book: Destiny of Shattered Dreams; Author: Nilesh Rathod; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 244; Price: Rs.200

Atul Malhotra is ambitious, passionate and has raw courage to pursue his dreams as he learns the art of gambling for high stakes. What follows is a game of treachery, infidelity and murder.

This is a tale of the sordid corporate-politico nexus that compels Atul to enter a world of dirty deals and power plays. Complete with sordid affairs of lust, intrigue and exhilarating highs, Rathod’s debut book is also a story of innocence lost forever.

4. Book: Why Aren’t We Dead Yet?; Author: Idan Ben Barak; Publisher: Collins; Pages: 203; Price: Rs.299

Ever wondered how our immune system fights off millions of disease-causing germs every day? Idan Ben-Barak’s book explores the immune system and what keeps it running, how germs are destroyed and why we develop immunities to certain disease-causing agents.

The book is entertaining and equally thoughtful: Science writing that can inspire students seek a career in medicine or immunology. Readers who just want to understand more about their body can also laugh along the way. – IANS

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